First off, I wanted to thank all of the Eruptions readers for making January the most popular month ever on this blog. I suppose I should give an assist to Yellowstone, but really, thanks for coming to the blog, reading the posts and engaging in all the great discussions that go on within its (cyber)walls.
KÄ«lauea's east rift zone eruption site. Image courtesy of the USGS/HVO.
On to some news!
- I suppose you've made the big time when you're in the New York Times, and sure enough, the current Yellowstone earthquake swarm is in the Old Grey Lady. Nothing much new to read, but summarizes the current USGS and Utah stance on the current seismicity. The earthquakes continue to march along, but still at the same depth and location.
- Now that Turrialba seems to have come back to life after over 100 years off, Costa Rican officials have outlined exactly where the risk lies around the volcano. They've divided the area around the volcano into zones of danger, with the immediate 2 km closest at the highest hazard, especially for ash and volcanic gases during this phreatic period of eruptions. The volcano currently sits at Yellow Alert status, 2nd on the 3-level alert system for volcanoes in Costa Rica.
- Here is a nice summary of the current activity at Kilauea as the volcano enters its 28th year of eruption. Most notable is, of course, the lava lake/river in the Halema`uma`u Crater.
- KVERT might be in trouble, but at least the NASA Earth Observatory can keep an eye on some of the volcanoes from space. This new view of Bezymianny shows how similar its crater is to Washington's Mt. Saint Helens.
- And leave it to our friends at Fox News to release an article on how to visit erupting volcanoes. I'm really not sure where they got the numbers for the opening paragraph and the article drifts off from volcanoes somewhere in the middle, but hey, if you wanted a list of fun places to visit, here it is.
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At old Yellowstone the moment tensor solutions still look transtensional (i.e. horizontal with a little extension). Not too surprising when you look at the regional tectonics, especially the Tetons and Jackson Hole pair to the south.
It will be interesting to see if a long-term lava lake establishes itself at Kilauea, giving me an excuse to go back.
That's a nice satellite image at NASA Earth Observatory, and it's not only of Bezymanny, but there is also Klyuchevskoy (or Kliuchevskoi) in the upper left corner of the image, the recent and active lava flows to southeast and northwest flanks showing dark.
Erik: the linked news item on Turrialba mentions helium as one of the gases being emitted and posing a health hazard. Do you know if any measurements have shown significant quantities of helium? (not a gas generally thought of as a major component of volcano emissions, although there's always some). And health hazard? Not heard of that one, unless you count speaking falsetto as such.
Mike Don - I haven't had a chance to digest it, but I did run across this article in regards to He at Turrialba:
Although quite mild and tame as active volcanoes go, it occurred to me while drinking rum and coke and watching volcan Arenal erupt, that this wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done. Remember Pliny the Elder; he wanted a closer look at the volcano erupting next to Pompei.
@DrA: sounds like my DH when he was in the Madison Canyon when the 1959 Hegben Lake quake hit! I don't think it was coke and rum, but he thought he was really out of it until it dawned on him it was an earthquake. As I said before, he was taking a nap in his car only half a mile from the slide in the canyon!
I guess we have to watch out for that ol' curiosity sometimes. It could literally blow up in our face.
Thanks for that link, Erik; guess at 20ppm there won't be any Ticos with Donald Duck voices :o) But it does suggest that there's something brewing below Turrialba
My wife and I have been planning a trip to Costa Rica in May, so I hope Turrialba's activity turns magmatic by then!
Do You take general questions? It is Monday and i'm musing about this. It's my understanding that Molokai exhibited a catastrophic colapse and spewed island out into the sea.
Looking at Puerto Rico it seems to have the same shape.
Could a similar event have shaped both islands?
my husband said it's probably fuzzy bunnies hopping in unison. After 40 years we aren't changing each other.
@Mots: That is an interesting concept. I always thought it was the hotspot, which the Big Island is over now, that formed all of the islands. As the Pacific plate moved, so moved the islands from the hot spot and a new island began to be formed. It almost seems like you would have a continuous strip of land going across the ocean, but it just depends on when the hot spot erupts. One reason the Big Island is called the Big Island. It has been over the hot spot for a long time.
I have another question: do we have any idea of the longest eruption in history? Twenty eight years is a long time as far as we are concerned for a continuous eruption. Could it have been the Siberian Traps?
Diane: is 15 million yrs a long time? (i dont think it was constant, but closely related, sort of episodic like the Hawaiian chain.)
Is that how you spell Hawaiian?
Not sure how long the Siberian or Deccan Traps lasted. Or the Columbian floods in Idaho.
@Fitz: yes, that is how you spell Hawaiian. I think. LOL
Thanks for the link. I will have to read more of it. I didn't know the Trapps were in eruption that long a time. What I had meant when I referred to Kilauea is that 28 years is a long time for us, maybe, but not for geologic time. I have been wondering if there was one that was continuous that took a looooong time. I figured the Trapps was one that took its time. There was a lot of lava that came out of that.
There is a lot of lava that came out in Idaho, too, at different times. I have no idea how think a layer it is, but if you count the Snake River Canyon, it is fairly thick. And along I80 going into NV from CA, there are places where there are layers and layers of events. I have wanted to stop somewhere and look more closely at those layers. Maybe some day.
Nice burst at Yellowstone.
Hey that's an amazing insight on the subject, thanks so much! never heard it more clear.
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